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DWP universal credit increase 2024 – everything benefit claimants need to know

Benefits increased by 6.7% in April 2024 for many people, but some universal credit claimants will only just be getting a boost to incomes now. Here's why

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Universal credit has increased this year by 6.7%. Image: Unsplash

Universal credit has increased in 2024 but some claimants will only be seeing the extra cash in their accounts from June.

Benefits across the board increased by 6.7% this April. That was because benefits are supposed to increase by September’s rate of inflation and last year that was 6.7%.

But because of the way assessment periods for universal credit work, you might only get extra money from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) this month.

Below, we’ve explained why some people are only just getting the increased rate, why charities are calling for universal credit to be increased further, and where else to get support in June 2024.

Why has my universal credit increased in June 2024?

Benefits increased by 6.7% from 8 April, 2024 for many claimants.

But for some universal credit claimants, the increased benefit rates has only taken effect in June. This is because the new rate is not paid by the DWP until the first assessment period on or after 8 April.

Here’s an example. Your assessment period began on 26 March. It runs for a complete calendar month so ended on 25 April.

Payments are made a week after the first assessment period comes to an end, so you received your payment on 2 May. But because the assessment period started before 8 April, it was at the old rate.

A new assessment period would have begun on 26 April and ended on 25 May. So the new full rate would have been paid on 1 June.



Why are people calling for universal credit to be increased further?

Universal credit is not enough for people to afford the cost of living, even since they have been increased in 2024.

The standard allowance for universal credit for people aged 25 and over falls short by around £30 every week – or £120 every month, according to estimations from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. For people aged 25 and under, the shortfall is even higher, at around £48 every week.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Trussell Trust and the Big Issue, backed by more than 100 organisations, are calling for an ‘essentials guarantee’ to be implemented into universal credit so people can at least afford the basics they need to live.

Read more here.

Big Issue is demanding an end to poverty this general election. Will you sign our open letter to party leaders?

Could you be eligible for more DWP benefits or cost of living help?

Benefits aren’t stretching far enough in the cost of living crisis – but they can be a lifeline.

You could be entitled to benefits and tax credits if you are working or unemployed, sick or disabled, a parent, a young person, an older person or a veteran. You can use a benefits calculator to find out what you might be entitled to claim – including from Turn2Us, Policy in Practice and entitledto.

Citizens Advice offers information and services to help people and they can advise you as to what financial support is available from the government to help you. You can also find local advice services here.

People who are struggling financially may be eligible for charitable grants. You can find out what grants might be available to you using Turn2Us’ grant search on the charity’s website.

If you are unable to pay your bills, your local council may have a scheme that can help you. Local councils may be able to give you debt advice, help you get hold of furniture and support you through food and fuel poverty. You can also find out what support your council offers through End Furniture Poverty’s local welfare assistance finder or by contacting your local authority directly.

You can find your local food bank through the Trussell Trust’s website or the IFAN’s member’s map. You can also call the Trussell Trust’s free helplines and talk to a trained adviser. It’s 0808 208 2138 if you live in England or Wales, and 0800 915 4604 if you live in Northern Ireland. You should contact your local council if you live in Scotland.

There’s lots more cost of living help available to people who need it – we round it up here.

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share about this? We want to hear from you. Get in touch and tell us more.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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